So all in all, if you ask me how I feel about this change... I'd say I'm extremely ambivalent about how it came to pass, not that concerned about the change on its own merits, and thoughtful about what the change means within the philosophy of the game.In short, I was... ummm... a bit negative about CCP's decision-making and communications and how it was applied to the particular feature I was talking about.
But now as a CSM member, I'm sometimes working directly with the CCP devs that are making these sorts of decisions.
I was running for CSM8 at the time I wrote both of the posts above. Did that come up in the posts themselves? It did not. But it sure came up in the comments, and more than once! Our old friend Poetic Stanziel had this to say at the time:
This is what I'm expecting of you as a CSM. When you're in Iceland or chatting on Skype with a dev and they try to feed you some line you know doesn't make any sense (such as, "we're not, in general and with exceptions, fans of multi-function modules"), that'll you'll call them on it.And while that's put a more bluntly than I would say it, I have to admit that I mostly agree with the sentiment. And in private, that's what I've been doing: if a CCP dev does something and I don't agree with it, I've been saying so (though happily, that situation has been vanishingly rare so far). But once a feature or other CCP decision goes public that I happen to disagree with, should I go public with the fact that I disagreed with it?
Sigh. This job was supposed to be sunshine, happiness, and free trips to Iceland.
In short, it's not as easy a call as it appears at first glance. I personally have always believed that people of good conscience, all doing the best jobs they know how to do, should be able to disagree and then move forward from there once the final decision is made. Hell, in my real life job, I've gotten into contentious disagreements with someone about some point and then gone to lunch with them 15 minutes later. It's not personal. It's business. I have to work productively and in a friendly way with CCP devs even when they do things I disagree with and I hope they feel the same way.
That's my take on it. But other CSM members might view it as a risk-reward proposition. If I say in public "I believe this was a dumb call, I argued against it at the time, and I got overruled" or even just a straight "I believe this was a poor decision", I risk the relationship with CCP and potentially build up a reputation as someone CCP devs might not want to work with. That risks my ability to function as a CSM member for the somewhat dubious reward of scoring points with you fine people. ;-)
And yet, I have a second job that I've been doing for lots longer of being someone who comments and gives his opinion on CCP and this game we love. Lots of times those opinions are positive and other times, they're... less so. Am I less myself if I muzzle myself to keep from risking my access?
Let's cut to the chase: I'm not going to do that. If CCP does something that I disagree with and I feel like it's worth writing a blog post about, I'm going to continue to do that, just as if the CSM didn't exist. Of course, I'm only going to stick to things that happen in public. But once a feature or CCP decision that I disagree with goes public, I'm going to feel free to talk about my own opinions of it, being careful to stay well clear of the NDA. When I can, I'll get the CCP employee involved in the discussion either through forum posts they make in public or by asking them my questions directly. But short version: that CSM flag isn't going to cause me to muzzle myself.
Fair enough? Discuss.